Strategy Tools: McKinsey 7-S model

The 7-S model by McKinsey is quite complementary with the Golden Circle by Sinek (see this previous post). Where Sinek gives us a bigger framework to understand corporate DNA, the 7-S model can be seen as a more detailed interpretation of the WHY and especially the HOW of a company.


WHY: Shared Value

The WHY from Sinek’s model can also be defined as the Shared values of an organization. The shared drive, the reason for existence. Why is your organisation doing what it’s doing? This core-existence is often seen as very hard to define. This is because organisations often think of it in terms of mission, vision,… . Keep it simple. The reason for this blog for example is to explore sustainable entrepreneurship in a direct approach. I believe strongly in sustainability and the need to experiment with business models in order to come up with disruptive new innovations. Better done by design than by disaster.

Try to define why your organisation exists and why you’re in it.

HOW: Strategy – Structure – Systems – Skills – Staff – Style

How you work is strongly related to why you work. The 7-s model will give you a holistic overview of how you’ve organised your organisation in order to make your WHY happen. We define 3 hard and 3 soft Ss. The hard Ss (Strategy, Structure, Systems) are very tangible and controllable, the soft Ss (Skills, Staff, Style) are more conceptual and the result of your organisational culture.

  • Strategy: How is your organisation using its resources? How will you reach preset goals? How will you react on your market environment, competition, customers?
  • Structure: How is your organisation structured? Centralized, decentralized, top-down, matrix, network…?
  • Systems: How have you translated the strategy and structure in tangible systems and procedures?
  • Skills: What competences and capabilities do you have in your organisation?
  • Staff: How many people work in your company? Who are they?
  • Style: How do you manage? What is your management-style? See also this post on the difference between a boss and a leader.

About leyssensjan

Jan Leyssens is a designer and entrepreneur who strongly believes you can’t turn sustainability into a positive story if your main focus is on negative impact. When designing, he is always looking for the overlap between activism and entrepreneurship, technology and community. His main expertise lies in strategic business model development, Circular Economy, the makermovement, and social innovation. With a background in Industrial Design, Jan quickly shifted his focus towards business design and using the design process in strategic management. Jan is the father of two kids and founder & CEO of Regenerative Design, co-founder of Full Circle, ImpactBoost, and the Circular Design map, podcaster, storyteller, and changemaker.

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